Christmas

Butterbeer

December 18, 2010
Photo by James Ransom
Author Notes

Butterbeer (yes! from the magical world of harry potter!) is meant to taste "a little bit like less-sickly butterscotch." This version is nonalcoholic, so kids can have it too, but for an adult butterbeer you can replace the cider with Woodchuck hard apple cider and add a few glugs of spiced rum for good measure! —arielleclementine

Test Kitchen Notes

More hot toddy than punch, this sweet concoction is inspired by Harry Potter's wizardry and will surely be enjoyed by both kids and adults. A sweet and buttery syrup combines with apple cider and vanilla to create a velvety, warm cider base. The ginger ale adds a little pep and the unsweetened whipped cream balances out the 'almost' too sweet butterbeer. Do try the adult version, add a dash of rum to cut the sweetness. —jvcooks

  • Serves 6-8
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups apple cider
  • 1 cup ginger ale
  • whipped cream, for garnish
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Make the butterscotch syrup: melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add brown sugar, 1/4 cup cream, and sea salt. Whisk to combine. Bring to a gentle boil and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in vanilla and cider and heat until very hot, and the butterscotch syrup has dissolved. Remove from heat and whisk in ginger ale. Serve with loads of whipped cream on top.

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Review
I have always loved food. My favorite books as a kid always featured food (eg. The Berenstain Bears Get the Gimmies- so much candy!) and I loved cooking shows like Yan Can Cook and The Frugal Gourmet. I started cooking the Thanksgiving dinner for my family when I was 13 years old. I have food52 to thank for inspiring me to come up with my own recipes, as well as for introducing me to a community of fantastic cooks and their amazing recipes. I try my best to cook locally and seasonally, and I tend to prefer straightforward, simple recipes where the ingredients get to shine. I live in wonderful Austin, Texas with my husband, Andy (a video game programmer) and my son, Henry (an 8-month-old who loves to eat).